We’ve all been there at some point in our lives… meeting that special someone who becomes more and more the brightest part of our life. What we hope for of course is that the relationship will grow with an increasing level of mutual love and commitment for years to come. But sometimes, out of nowhere it seems, something changes.
A loving relationship is almost by definition a situation in which two people have a Mutual desire and love for each other. Seems simple enough. But when either you or your beloved find yourselves “drawing back” from advancing together it is then time to address the cause. Each case is individual, but I believe there are certain guidelines and approaches that can be used in talking out the situation rather than simply allowing unspoken feelings lead the relationship down a bitter path.
I’ve been in both positions. In one relationship I was the one fully committed to the care and love for my mate, while my fiance’ ended up eventually fading away from the relationship. At first, we were ever so in love and happy to be alive together. Things couldn’t have seemed better. We’d had our difficult times, but worked through them because we each felt we were just “made for each other”. But then suddenly it became noticeable that she was unceasingly dissatisfied with the way things were. We talked, but it seemed nothing in particular was the problem. Later, as I tried to accommodate her comfort in greater ways, the result soon became a matter of harsher criticism that was increasingly harder to satisfy.
I knew then this was not the same heart of the woman I’d first met and loved. Something had changed. When in such a situation I believe the first thing you must realize and accept is that “It is always a person’s free-will choice to have chosen to love you that gave their love such great value.” You must not get into the trap of thinking you can dance fast enough or clever enough to ‘steal back their heart’. If your beloved has lost that flame and is starting to get that itch to leave, you must remember to respect their decision enough (as well as retain your own self-respect) to actually watch them walk out the door if that is the decision they make. It’s good to remind them of where you stand in your love and devotion, but you must always be willing to let them go without giving in to chasing or manipulating them.
But why?, you might ask. Well, essentially, when a person is unhappy in a relationship and wants to leave, eventually they will leave. Overwhelming their decision and pressuring them into marriage will only post-pone their decision to leave for so long. Or worse, instead of the thriving, loving relationship you’d hoped for, you may find yourself married to a person who is just not fully happy being committed to you. (And we all know what happens when someone comes along who -does- make them happy.) So realize that what goes on in their heart is largely out of your control. Meanwhile, rather than avoid the issue I believe it’s best to talk, with you doing most of the listening rather than launching a campaign listing all the reasons why You think staying together is such a great idea.
In another relationship I found myself in the other position… it was I who found myself unhappy after trying to work out certain issues with the one I loved. I loved her as she was, to be sure. But part of being in a loving relationship is having respect and affection for each other. As time went on I realized she did not want to tell me when I upset her, she would simply hold a quiet tantrum and make my life miserable until she got over it. Try as we did to talk it out, she simply said I’d have to get used to her tantrums and live with it. I didn’t quite see that as progress, let alone as love. So after repeated attempts to wait, give it more time, etc., I finally realized she just had no inspiration to even attempt communicating. I figured I could either (a) stay with her and learn to live with it unhappily or (b) make it known her decision was not helping our relationship and decide to leave. I finally had one last talk with her, gave her the option of giving it one more try before calling it ‘quits’, but it just didn’t mean anything to her anymore to stay together. At that point, much as I loved her, it was obvious it was time to end the relationship.
And so I believe in a second guideline, “You can only ask a person to -consider- your feelings and needs. The only control you have is in the decisions you make, but you cannot decide change for someone else.”
Thus it would seem to me that two of the best things you could have going for you in either a fading or growing relationship are Honesty and the much accepted, but too little applied, element of Communication. When unhappy with a relationship because your mate’s heart seems to be waning and wandering in it’s passion, it’s best that you have the honesty to share just exactly how you feel rather than sit idly by and hope it’ll all go away. And when you know in your own heart that you may never have, give or desire the type of commitment your mate is hoping for from you, again it is best to communicate honestly that you feel it’s best to go your separate ways. To not do so only postpones the inevitable and causes heartaches multiplied.
On the brighter side of things, when you and your mate are truly in love and mutually desiring a committed relationship, these same elements of honesty and communication will move things forward as well as allow two hearts to move closer and closer together through time.
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.